The Release

releaseThe release occurs during the front-swing of the arm after it has passed the body and before the pitching hand passes eye level at the beginning of the follow-through.  Timing of the release is critical for consistency.  Top preforming horseshoe pitchers will release their horseshoe at nearly the exact moment in their swing every time.  Releasing too soon may cause a low and short pitch.  Releasing too late may produce a very high pitch.

Letting go of the horseshoe during the release should be clean.  This means that the fingers relax and pop open to let the horseshoe go.  A messy release is one where the fingers are still tight on the horseshoe as it is being released.  This can interfere with the rotation or flip of the shoe as well as influence the height and distance.  To maintain a straight pitch, the forward momentum should not stop until after the release is complete.  Stopping forward momentum before the release can result in off target pitches to the right of the stake for right-handers, and to the left for left-handers.

Like The Distance, the release has already been part of learning by way of The swing and The Step drills, which require releasing an object as pitched.  When working on the Release drill, only the release should be focused on.  The drill should initially be carried out away from the courts and without horseshoes.  A fun resource for this drill is the cornhole game.  The boards should be set up at the proper distances measured from the hole in the cornhole board.  The youth then pitch the bean bags toward the target as they focus on the timing of their release as well as making a clean release.  Of course the other resources used in the other drills can also be used for learning the release (bocce balls, water balloons, etc.).Cornhole